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Virgin Media Pioneers creates opportunities for young entrepreneurs to share their ideas and learn from each other as well as from established business experts to help them get their businesses off the ground. In 2012, the Virgin Media Pioneers community more than doubled, with nearly 4,500 registered members.

Control Shift

The Control Shift campaign, which sought to identify the issues facing young entrepreneurs and make recommendations to government as to how these can be overcome and was launched in September 2011, made a big impact in 2012. One of its key recommendations was achieved with the announcement of a £120 million Youth Investment Fund in the 2012 Budget.

The Project

As well as offering Pioneers the opportunity to get backstage work experience at the V Festival, Virgin Media ran a competition called ‘The Project’, to look for 10 young people to help produce a unique event at London’s famous Royal Opera House. Nearly 1500 people entered and 100 finalists were selected to undertake 6 days of paid work experience with employers in the creative & events industries.

Virgin Media Pioneers

Scale social impact


Increase the number of unique visits to the site to 150,000 and double the size of the Pioneers community to 4,000 while maintaining 10%+ as active (defined as Pioneers proactively using the site against our agreed criteria).


We had 118,254 unique site visits during 2012.

At the beginning of 2012 there were 1,980 registered pioneers. By the end of the year, this has increased by 2,431 to 4,411 registered members.

Leverage social impact among registered members


• Get inspired: 65% will become more ambitious and confident

• Get connected: 65% will build their contacts and support network

• Get ahead: 65% will improve their enterprise skills.


  • 71% became more ambitious
  • 60% gained confidence
  • 79% built their networks as a result of VMP
  • 42% stated that VMP had helped them to start up a business while 46% felt that VMP had helped them gain practical business skills.

An independent company called A Very Good Company carried out our evaluation. This evaluation was conducted between May 2012 and April 2013. It involved a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis, including online surveys, focus groups with pioneers and non-pioneers and a comparative review of current data with previous surveys and external sector evaluations.

Staff engagement in Virgin Media Pioneers


Share staff expertise through digital content and facilitate mentoring opportunities to increase connections between staff and Pioneers.


Throughout 2012, Virgin Media staff – from senior management to designers and sales executive – became mentors for Virgin Media Pioneers.

Enhance Virgin Media properties


Collaborate with Pioneers to enhance the impact of V Festival.


In 2012, V Festival provided backstage work experience opportunities for 10 Pioneers and 5 Pioneers’ businesses also bought innovative products to the Louder Lounge guests.

Enhance Virgin Media properties


Build a Pioneers app for our TiVo® service and grow Virgin Media’s regional presence.


Launching a Pioneers app for our TiVo platform has taken longer that expected and we have postponed the launch to 2013.

Campaign for positive change


Work with teams across the company to push for Pioneer originated issues, including continuing to champion the Youth Investment Fund campaign.


Our Youth Investment Fund campaign was announced in the 2012 April Budget, with £120m of funding to finance business ventures launched by people aged 18-30.